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I read this back in the 80s when the Cold War was very much still with us. Despite the title the book is actually more about how the perception of the threat was arrived at, with a major theme being that the true threat was being greatly exaggerated, both in terms of Soviet intentions and their capability. One memorable line talked about how in a certain model Soviet tank, the gun mechanism was prone to loading the gunner rather than the shell. The insights continue to be relevant in terms of ho ...more
Read this book after enjoying Cockburn's recent book, "Kill Chain." I was curious to see if Cockburn had gotten the Soviet Union correct. He sure did, rightfully pointing out all the problems with the structure of the military, the poor quality of the military personnel and the weapons.
Jan 19, 2009 Josh Liller rated it really liked it · review of another edition
Fascinating insights from the early 1980s on the Cold War and what might happen if World War III had broken out. The book gave me the impression it probably would have been a real clusterfuck as the technology of both sides was not actually as good or as functional as they tried to make it seem.
Andrew Cockburn is the Washington Editor of Harper's magazine and the author of many articles and books on national security, including the New York Times Editor's Choice Rumsfeld and The Threat, which destroyed the myth of Soviet military superiority underpinning the Cold War. He is a regular opinion contributor to the Los Angeles Times and has written for, among others, the New York Times, Natio ...moreMore about Andrew Cockburn...